Down on the farm: Weekly check-in on Cleveland Indians minor-league affiliates

Mejia

Highlighted by a historic hitting streak and some familiar names in new places, it was another busy week for the Tribe’s Minor League affiliates. As usual, all numbers are through Thursday’s games.

Triple-A Columbus went 5-2 last week, extending its lead in the International League West division to eight games.

Yandy Diaz and Giovanny Urshela both saw their hitting streaks come to a close last week. Diaz’s league-leading 28-game streak ended Thursday as the 24-year-old Cuban went 0-for-3 with a walk. Urshela’s career-long 21-game streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance on Monday.

Catcher Guillermo Quiroz batted .500 (9-for-18) with three doubles, two homers, five RBI and four runs scored in four games this week. Infielder Erik Gonzalez, who was optioned to Columbus on August 5, went 11-for-26 (.423) with five doubles, three homers, five RBI and eight runs scored.

First baseman Jesus Aguilar also went deep three times last week, and now leads the IL with 23 home runs on the year.

Double-A Akron went 3-3 to avoid its third straight losing week. The RubberDucks are third in the Eastern League’s Western division, seven games off the pace at 55-60.

Greg Allen continues to impress in Double-A, as the 23-year-old outfielder hit .391 (9-for-23) with two doubles, three walks, three strikeouts and six runs scored in six games last week. Allen, who was promoted to Akron on July 25, is still the Advanced-A Carolina League’s leader in runs (93), stolen bases (38) and OBP (.424).

Julian Merryweather turned in the best start of the week for Akron, as he limited the Hartford Yard Goats (COL) to two runs, just one earned, on one hit with seven strikeouts and no walks over a season-high 8.0 innings of work in the ‘Ducks 3-2 win.

Advanced-A Lynchburg had a down week, going 2-4, falling to three games back of the Potomac Nationals (WSH) in the Carolina League’s Northern division.

Shortstop Dorssys Paulino led the Hillcats offense with a .375 average (9-for-24) last week, as he doubled twice, homered once, scored four times and drove in four runs in six games.

Left-hander Luis Lugo turned in the best outing of any Lynchburg starter last week, holding the Nationals scoreless on three hits with five strikeouts over 6.0 innings in a no-decision.

Catcher Francisco Mejia played in just two games last week, but extended his hitting streak to 48 games, hitting 4-for-8 (.500) in the process.

Class-A Lake County went 3-3 last week, and sit in sixth place, 12 games back, in the Midwest League Eastern Division.

Outfielder Sam Haggerty was white-hot at the plate, going 13-for-24 (.542) with a pair of doubles, one home run, three RBI and seven runs scored in seven games.

Right-hander Triston McKenzie made his Midwest League debut on Friday, August 5, suffering the loss at Great Lakes, and did not factor in the decision in his second start for the Captains on Thursday (also at Great Lakes). The 6-foot-5 hurler is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (6ER/12.0IP) in two starts with Lake County.

Short-season Mahoning Valley also went 3-3 this week, and is 6-4 in the month of August.

Outfielder Todd Isaacs put together a great week for the Scrappers, going 7-for-15 en route to leading the New York-Penn League with a .467 average last week. The 20-year-old also collected one double and three home runs while driving in five runs and scoring six.

Brady Aiken, Cleveland’s first round pick (#17 overall) in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, made his NYPL debut on Wednesday. The 19-year-old southpaw allowed three runs on four hits, including one home run, and two walks with one strikeout over 3.0 innings of work in a no-decision against the Batavia Muckdogs.

The AZL Indians struggled to a 1-5 record this week, marking their second straight losing week.

Cleveland’s first round pick (#14 overall) in this year’s draft, outfielder Will Benson, seems to be hitting his stride. After batting just .200 (19-for-95) in his first 27 pro games, Benson went 8-for-18 (.444) with one double, two triples, one home run, two RBI and six runs scored in five games last week.

Left-hander Francisco Perez turned in two great outings last week, combining to allow just two runs on five hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts over 11.0 innings of work. This season, Perez is third in the AZL with 43 strikeouts, and ranks second with a 0.95 WHIP.

–TribeVibe contributor Robert Davidson

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